I was very happy to finally find kale in Hyderabad, it is a green I love.
This salad is one that I enjoyed very much. It is super simple to make and super healthy. The trick to this salad is to massage the kale leaves gently, this breaks down the cell structures and tenderizes the leaves, but also allows the leaves to absorb the flavors in the dressing. The light Asian-style dressing and the poppyseeds are a perfect match with the crunch Brussels sprouts. Yes salads should be this good, always!
This is probably my favorite Deborah Madison cookbook, and yes I do have almost all her fabulous cookbooks. The recipes, like this salad, are quite unique and full of flavors. I recommend any of her cookbooks, but this one stands out on my bookshelf.
For more delicious dished from this cookbook, click here.
1 bunch Tuscan kale, also called as Lucinato or Dragon kale
3 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon roasted Asian style sesame oil
6-8 Brussels sprouts
1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 scallion, sliced thinly into circles
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted on a pan
Large grain sea salt
Wash the kale thoroughly in 3 changes of water to get rid of all the grit. Slice the kale leaves from their tough stems. Alternatively, I hold the stem and pull the leaves through my fingers. Wherever the tough inner rib snaps is where the leaf is tender enough to eat. Roll the leaves and slice thinly to make ribbons and add to a bowl.
Add the 3 teaspoons of sesame oil to the kale with the salt and gently massage the leaves for 4-7 minutes, depending on how tender your leaves are. You are breaking up the cells and making the leaves tender and marinating the flavors of the oil and salt into the leaves. The leaves will turn a deep green and turn soft under your fingers, think of all your massage sessions.
Clean the Brussels sprouts and cut into very fine ribbons, use a mandolin if needed.
Press the garlic through a press. Alternatively, mince it finely and make into a paste using the side of a knife. Mix with the rice wine vinegar and soy sauce.
To serve, arrange the massaged kale on a circle around the edge of a bowl. Fill the center with the sliced Brussels sprouts. Drizzle the dressing all over. Decorate with the sliced scallion, sesame seeds and the chili flakes. It is a wonderful presentation, but before serving, toss the salad at the table so the dressing coats all the vegetables evenly. Have some large grain sea salt available for those guests who would like it.